Owing to generations of passed on values, Indian vegetables have always had a prominent place in the diet of the population.
Studies show that an individual needs a minimum of 2-3 cups of vegetables in a day, considering an average of 30 minutes of daily physical activity.
The abundance of vegetables in the Indian market greatly factors in for the ease in which people are able to meet with this daily requirement.
Also Checkout : Glossary of Indian Spices in 11 Indian Languages
India is blessed with a varied agro-climate that supports the growth of different types of vegetables that are rich in multiple nutrients.
You would be amazed to discover the long list of vegetables endemic to India- From Brinjals, Drumsticks, and Bitter gourd (or Karela) to many more!
The Glossary below is not only an exhaustive list of common Indian vegetables but also a guide to Indian vegetable names in English as well as other vernacular languages.
Glossary of Indian Vegetables in English & Indian Languages
|Amaranth leaves||Chauli bhaji - चौली भाजी||-||Lal math||Molaikeerai||Totakura||Chuvanna cheera|
|Ash gourd||Petha-पेठा||Petha||Kohla||Poosanikai (Pushini Kaiy)||Boodida gummadikaya||Kumbalanga|
|Banana flower||Kele ka phool - केलेका फूल||kela na ful||Kelful||Vazhaipoo||Arati Puvvu||Pazham Vazhakudappan|
|Beetroot||Chukandar - चुकंदर||Beet||Beet||Beetroot kijangu||Beetroot||Beetroot|
|Bell Pepper (Capsicum)||Shimla mirch - शिमला मिर्च||Bholak marchu||Bhopli/bhongi mirchi||Kudamilagai||-||Kuda mulagu|
|Bitter gourd||Karela - करेला||karelu||Karla||Pavara kaiy||Kakara kayi||Pavakka|
|Bottlegourd||Lauki - लौकीor Ghia||Dudhi||Dudhi Bhopla||Sura kaiy||Sorakaya||Churakka|
|Broad beans (fava beans, lima beans, butter beans)||Sem ki phalli - सेमकी फली or Papdi||valpapdi||valpapdi||Avara kaiy||Pedda Chikkudu||Amarakka|
|Cabbage||Patta gobi - पत्ता गोबी or Bandh gobhi||Kobi||Kobi||Muttaikos||Cabbage||Muttakoos|
|Carrot||Gajar - गाजर||Gajar||Gaajar||Carrot||Gajjara gadda||Carrot|
|Cauliflower||Phool gobi - फूल गोबी||koli flower||Phulkobi||Kovippu||Cauliflower||Cauliflower|
|Cluster beans||Gawar ki phalli - गवारकी फली||Gavar||Gavar||Kothavarangai||Goruchikkudu||Kothamara|
|Coconut (fresh)||Nariyal - नारियल||Naliyer||Naral||Thengai||Kobbari Kaaya||Thenga|
|Colocasia leaves (Taro leaves)||Arbi patta - अरबी पत्ता||Patra||Aluchi pana||Chepankizhangu||Chemagadda||Chembu|
|Colocasia roots (Taro roots)||Arbi - अरबी||Arvi||Alu||Chepankizhangu||Chemagadda||Chembu|
|Coriander leaves (Cilantro)||Hara Dhania - हराधनिया||Kothmir (Dhana)||Kothimbir||Kothamalli||Kothimeera||Kothamalli|
|Corn||Makkai - मकाई or Bhutta||Makai||Maka||Cholam||Mokkajonna Kandelu||Cholam|
|Cucumber||Kakdi - ककड़ी or Kheera - खीरा||Kakdi||Kakdi||Velleri Kaiy||Kheera Dosakaya||Vellarikka|
|Curry leaves||Kari patta - कड़ी पत्ता||Mitho limdo||Kadhilimbachi pana||Karuvepillai||Karivepaku||Kariveppela|
|Dill leaves||Suva bhaji - सुवा भाजी||Sava ni bhaji||Shepu||Sathakuppi Sompa||Soya Koora||Sathakuppa|
|Drumsticks||Surjan ki phalli||Saragva ni singh||Shevgyachya shenga||Murungaikkai||Mulakada||Muringakayi|
|Eggplant (Brinjal or Aubergine)||Baingan - बैंगन||Ringan||Vanga||Kathirikai||Vankaya||Vazhuthananga|
|Elephant Yam||Zimikand - जिमीकंद or Suran - सुरन||Suran||Suran||Chenai kizhangu||Kanda gadda||Chena|
|Fenugreek leaves||Methi - मेथी||Methi ni bhaji||Methi bhaji||Vendayakeerai||Menthi kura||Uluva|
|French Beans (Green beans)||Farash beans||Fansi||Shravan ghevda||Beans||Beans||Beans|
|Garlic||Lahsun - लहसुन||Lasan||Lassun||Poondu||Vellulli||Velluthulli|
|Ginger||Adrak - अदरक||Aadu||Suntha||Inji||Allam||Inji|
|Green chili||Hari mirch - हरी मिर्च||Lila marcha||Hirvya mirchya||Pachai Milagai||Pacchi Mirapakaya||Pachchamulaku|
|Green onion (Scallian or Spring onion)||Hari pyaz - हरी प्याज़||Lili Dungri||Kanda path||Pallari Vengayam||Vulli Kada||Ulli Thal|
|Green peas||Matar - मटर||Vatana||Matar||Pattani||Pachi batani||Pattani|
|Ivy gourd||Tendli - टेंडली||Tindora||Tondli||Kovaikkai||Dondakaya||Kovaykka|
|Jackfruit||Kathal - कठल||Phanas||Phanas||Pala Pazham||Panasakai||Chakka|
|Lemon (Lime)||Nimbu - निम्बू||Limbu||Limbu||Elumichampazham||Nimmakaya||Cherunaranga|
|Mint leaves||Pudina - पुदीना||fudino||Pudina||Pudina||Pudina akku||Pudinaa|
|Mustard leaves||Sarso ka saag - सरसोंका साग||Rai limba||Rai chi paan||-||Aava aaku||Kaduguila|
|Okra (Ladies' finger)||Bhindi - भिंडी||Bhinda||Bhendi||Vendaikkai||Bendakaya||Bendakaya|
|Onion||Pyaaz - प्याज||Dungari (Kanda)||Kanda||Vengayam||Ullipaya||Ulli|
|Plantain (raw banana)||kachha kela - कच्चा केला||Kacha kela||-||Vazhaikkai||Pachi Aratikaya||Kaya (Nenthrakaya)|
|Potato||Aloo - आलू||Batata (Bataka)||Batata||Urulaikizhangu||Bangala Dumpa (Alugadda)||Urulakhizhangu|
|Pumpkin||Kaddu - कददू||Kolu||Lal bhopla||Seetaphul||Gummadikaya||Mathanga|
|Radish (Daikon)||Mooli - मूली||Mula||Mula||Mullangi||Mullangi||Mullangi|
|Ridge gourd||Turai - तुरई||Turia||Dodka||Peerkangai||Beerakaya||Peechinga|
|Shallot (pearl onion)||Chota pyaaz - छोटाप्याज or Sambar onion||Nani dungari||Chote kande||China (Sambar vebgayam)||Ullipaaya||Cheriya ulli|
|Snake gourd||Chirchinda||Parval||Padval||Pudalang kaiy||Potlakaya||Padavalanga|
|Sorrel leaves||Pitwaa||-||Ambadi||Pulicha keerai||Gongura||Gongura|
|Spinach||Palak - पालक||Palak||Palak||Pasala keerai||Palakura||Palak cheera|
|Sweet potato||Shakarkandi - शकरकंदी||Shakkariya||Ratala||Valli kijangu||Chilakada Dumpa||Madhura Kizhangue|
|Tomato||Tamatar - टमाटर||Tameta||Tamatar||Thakkali||Tomato||Takkali|
Types of Vegetables
All Vegetables, or Indian vegetables in this context, are divided into 6 major sub-groups as the following:
1) Leafy: Example – Spinach (‘Palak’)
Source of vitamin: A, B2, B6, C, K
Key Benefits: Contains manganese that helps regulate nervous functions and minerals for a healthy blood pressure. It is also packed with dietary fibers for a smooth bowel movement.
2) Cruciferous: Example – cauliflower (‘Gobi’)
Source of vitamin: B9, C
Key Benefits: Rich in folate (naturally occurring form of B9) and dietary fibers. Contains phytochemicals having great anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
3) Edible stem: Example – Asparagus (‘Shatavari’)
Source of vitamin: A, B9, C
Key Benefits: Boosts production of blood cells as it contains minerals like Iron and Manganese. Great source of Dietary fibers.
4) Marrow: Example – Cucumbers (‘Khira’)
Source of vitamin: A, C
Key Benefits: Great supplement of potassium that helps regulate blood pressure. Along with which, Manganese for better brain and neural functions.
5) Root: Example – Potato (‘Aloo’)
Source of vitamin: B3, B6, C
Key Benefits: Abundance of healthy carbohydrates that provide you with energy to perform necessary physical functions. Also, a good source of dietary fibers.
6) Alium: Example – Garlic (‘Lahsun’)
Source of vitamin: B6, C
Key Benefits: Excellent source of minerals like zinc that boost your immunity. Contains compounds of sulfur that are known to prevent many diseases. And, adequate amounts of Manganese and Selenium for regulation of brain functions.
Evidently, vegetables cover an array of essential vitamins and minerals useful for routine body functions.
For clarity in the concept of a wider audience, we have explained the same using a list of Indian vegetables as examples. Vegetable names are supported with their broadly used term in ‘Hindi’ as well!
Why Is It Important To Eat Vegetables
Most Indian vegetables are power-packed with multiple nutrients that not only boost your immunity, but also support day-to-day requirements of functioning. Here’s why your mother has always been adamant on their consumption –
Excellent source of Vitamins
A spectrum of Vitamins from ‘A’ to vitamin ‘K’ present in different vegetables helps keep your teeth, gum, eyes, skin, and various parts of your body happy inside and out.
Rich in Minerals
Vegetables contain different minerals like Iron, Potassium, Manganese, and more. These help in the regulation of various brain and nerve cells along with being incredibly good for your blood cells.
Contain Dietary Fibers
Fibers are essential nutrients most commonly found in plant-based food. Keeps bad cholesterol at bay, lowering the risk of heart diseases. Ensures a smooth digestive system and controls the blood sugar level too.
Great for weight loss
Vegetables are perfect for the diet-conscious as they are low in calories and fats alike. Zero cholesterol is another added positive. Fibers present in the vegetables keeps your stomach full for much longer, helping you eat in moderation.
The A-Z list of vegetables provided in the glossary above will help you identify the ones you have available near you and get you munching on the goodies in no time.
How to sanitize and clean vegetables
Sanitation of vegetables is vital as they pass through multiple hands in their journey from the farm to our plates.
This makes them prone to getting infected from many unknown sources at uncertain points of time.
Hence it is best advised to clean vegetables before consumption. Here are some ways to sanitize your vegetables:
1) Rinse and Rub
Traditional methods never go wrong. A gentle rub with a simple rinse of water is more efficient than you deem it to be.
Soaking is known to help discard the heat principle, a contributing factor to ailments like diarrhea and also skin problems like acne. A 20-minute soak followed by a rinse will do the job.
3) Use tools- Brushes and sponges
Ground vegetables like carrots, radishes, and potatoes can be cleaned using tools like brushes to help remove excess dirt.
4) Electronic Purifiers
They work on the principle of oxidation. By oxidizing residual chemical waste from the surface of the vegetables, and ozone output of 200mg/h, it gets rids of the harmful chemical leftovers.
5) Special Precautions
According to the FDA, Leafy greens must be consumed after the removal of the outermost layers. This is done in addition to the soak and then rinse, as the edible component is always in direct contact with the environment
Indian vegetables are prone to much more dirt with the climate being dusty and multiple exchange of hands due to commonly longer supply chains.
How To Store Vegetables To Keep Them Fresh
Buying vegetables in bulk is tempting and seems like an easier thing to do. But how do you manage their different shelf lives?
Here are tips to store your vegetables that will keep them fresh for longer:
- Leafy vegetables – Rinse and refrigerate in Ziploc bags or any sealed plastic eg. lettuce, cabbage, kale, etc.
- Root vegetables – Place in a cool and dark spot outside the refrigerator eg. potatoes, garlic, onions, etc.
- Delicate vegetables – Like mushrooms, should be stored in paper bags and preferably in the special compartments of the fridge. Avoid mixing with stored fruits.
- Canned vegetables – Unopened cans can be stored in a dry place or in the refrigerator, and consumed as soon as possible after opening to ensure fresh taste.
Most Indian vegetables, excluding the root vegetables, stay fresh when kept in the refrigerator and consumed within a week.
Which Is The Healthiest Vegetable?
Browsing through a chart of Indian vegetables that are powerhouses of nutrients, Spinach, undoubtedly tops the list!
Spinach is a leafy vegetable and a great source of different vitamins and minerals.
A cup of spinach is said to have only 7 calories and is said to fulfill 100% of an adult’s daily vitamin ‘K’ requirement.
- Vitamins- A, B9, C, K
- Minerals- Iron, Magnesium, Calcium
- Filled with Antioxidants
- Maintains good heart health and blood pressure
All benefits provided by Spinach are significant in nature, hence, it is commonly known as the ‘Healthiest Vegetable.’
Spinach is one of the most popular ‘superfoods’ when you think of green vegetables’ names.
‘Superfoods’, though have no definite criteria, are mostly plant-based foods that are nutritionally dense and are a key addition to the diet of the health-conscious.
Other such superfoods that are contemporary to spinach and potent contenders of the title of the ‘Healthiest’ include Brussel sprouts, Mushrooms, Beetroot, Greenbeans, and more.
These may not shine in your typical Indian green vegetable list, but are becoming more common in the markets as well as recipes available on the internet!
THE EGGPLANT: King of Vegetables
With a crown on its head and a rich violet skin, the Eggplant is called the ‘King of vegetables’ for all the right reasons.
Eggplant is an English name of the vegetable that is commonly known as ‘Brinjal’.
One serving of the eggplant is only around 27 calories and has the highest nicotine level among all vegetables.
- Promotes good bone health
- Keeps ones heart healthy
- Enhances the brain functions
- Strengthens our blood vessels
- Helps control diabetes
- Gets you a healthy skin
- Boosts immunity
- Can help reduce edema
Scrolling through a list of vegetables with pictures, the eggplant is bound to stand out as a royal one, with the taste as rich as its beauty.
Needless to say, all Indian vegetables are great sources to not only build immunity, but a healthy mind as well.
A colorful diet is a balanced diet.
While preparing a nutritious diet, sit down with the names of Indian vegetables and their pictures to pick a mix of color to draw out a wholesome meal plan for you and your family!
Siddhi Panchal is a food blogger at CookingwithSiddhi and food aficionado who loves to cook. Her cooking skills cover a range of Indian and international cuisines. Her aim is to enable other food enthusiasts explore their love for food by helping them cook delectable dishes from India and around the world.